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Land use and a low-carbon society

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 April 2013

Colin D. Campbell
Affiliation:
The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH, UK Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7014, SE-750 07, Uppsala, Sweden
Allan Lilly
Affiliation:
The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH, UK
Willie Towers
Affiliation:
The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH, UK
Stephen J. Chapman
Affiliation:
The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH, UK
Alan Werritty
Affiliation:
UNESCO, Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee, Dundee, DD1 4HN, UK
Nick Hanley
Affiliation:
Economics Division, School of Management, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK

Abstract

Land use and the management of our natural resources such as soils and water offer great opportunities to sequester carbon and mitigate the effects of climate change. Actions on forestry, soil carbon and damaged peatlands each have the potential to reduce Scottish emissions in 2020 by hundreds of thousands of tonnes. Most actions to reduce emissions from land use have beneficial effects on other ecosystem services, so if we can cut emissions we can in many circumstances improve the environment. The cost of reducing emissions through land use change can be low in relation to other means of cutting emissions. The Scottish Land Use Strategy and the Ecosystem Approach it calls for, employing the concept of ecosystem services, offers a way of balancing environmental, social and economic demands on the land. Scotland's land, soils, forests and waters are all likely to be significantly altered by future climate change. Each of these components of the land-based environment offers opportunities for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The emerging new imperatives for securing food, water and energy at a global level are equally important for Scotland, and interact with the need for environmental security and for dealing with climate change.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal Society of Edinburgh 2012 

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